A baby boom is underway. The U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics projects that the number of births in the U.S. will rise from 3.98 million in 2003 to 4.37 million in 2012.
Not only is the number of children growing, but the number of stay-at-home parents (homemakers) is also increasing. An analysis by the U.S. Census Bureau of two-parent households with a stay-at-home parent who said his or her primary reason for not working was to stay home to care for the children has found a steady increase in stay-at-home parents since 1994. The number of children younger than 15 with stay-at-home parents has increased from 9.7 million in 1994 to 11 million in 2002, a 13% increase. In 2002, 5.3 million two-parent families had a stay-at-home parent. This data clearly indicates a long-term trend is underway. (Read more about the homemaker market in our December eNewsletter article)
The Census Bureau also found that the number of women who gave birth between July 1999 and July 2000 and returned to work within a year of having their babies was 55%, a decrease from the record high of 59% in 1998.
The number of families with children has also grown. In 1980, there were 31 million families with children. This grew to 32.3 million families in 1990 and to 34.6 million in 2000. Based upon the baby boom discussed at the beginning of this article, the number of families with children should continue to increase into the foreseeable future.
In 2000, 41% of families had one child, 38% had two children and 21% had three or more children.
This issue has a partial food focus (We're sure you've notice that by now), so it seems appropriate while we are talking about children, stay-at-home parents and families with children to relate them to food.
For LBEs that target the family market -- parents and their children -- targeting that demographic with food can tap into a large potential market. Families with children spend more per household on food-away-from-home than any other demographic segment and represent 40% of all food-away-from-home expenditures. Families with children's total expenditures in 2001 for food-away-from-home was $98.5 billion. That's an enormous market. Here's how it looks with all the 0's if you still aren't convinced of its size -- $98,500,000,000.
The 5.3 million stay-at-home-parents also represent an enormous market. They are constantly in search of locations where they can meet with their friends during weekday mornings, lunch and early afternoon to socialize while their children are entertained. Most types of LBEs have little, in any business during these day-parts. With the right designs and features, stay-at-home moms with their children will visit a children's edutainment center as often as every week during these times. We place a strong focus on this market when we design children's edutainment centers for our clients by incorporating Panera quality cafés specifically designed to meet the needs and wants of the female homemaker market.